Google (finally) brings Chrome to Android

Google Chrome logoGoogle is finally bringing Chrome to the Android platform. A beta release of the increasingly popular Web browser was published this morning in the Android Market and is available to users who are running Android 4. The port includes Chrome's advanced HTML rendering engine and many of the browser's popular features.

The Chrome beta is designed to run on both phones and tablets. The tablet version of the user interface is nearly a perfect match of Chrome on the desktop, including the distinctive slanted tab design. The phone version has a more compressed interface, suitable for smaller screens, and includes the standard Chrome features such as the Omnibar and application shortcut pane.

The gap between Chrome and the native Android Web browser has long been a source of confusion for users and pundits. Although both browsers are based on WebKit and use some of the same underlying components, such as the Skia vector graphics framework, they are separate implementations and originally had little else in common.

In fact, the Android Web browser didn't even use Google's unique V8 JavaScript runtime until the release of Android 2.2 in 2010. Prior to that, it used Apple's SquirrelFish engine, presumably because V8's ARM JIT (just in time) backend wasn't good enough yet. The Android Web browser also has relatively poor support for the latest Web standards compared to Chrome.

As we have pointed out in our reviews of the Android operating system, the platform's default browser tends to have difficulty handling the most intensive application-like Web experiences. Google announced last year that it would try to close the gap between the Android browser and Chrome, with the aim of eventually converging them around a shared code base. The release of Chrome on Android appears to be the fruit of that labor.

In a video posted this morning on the official Chromium blog, Google's engineers offered some technical insight into the port and what it has to offer on Android. They said that the new software has the same multiprocess architecture that Chrome uses on the desktop. It also offers support for modern Web features such as WebSockets, IndexedDB, and Web Workers.

Google (finally) brings Chrome to Android

Other features that will appeal to Web developers include hardware-accelerated rendering for the HTML5 Canvas element and a built-in remote debugging tool that works over USB. The latter will allow developers to attach the WebKit Inspector in a desktop version of Chrome to an instance of Chrome running on a device.

The Chrome port, which can be downloaded from the Android Market on Android 4 devices, currently installs side-by-side with the default Android browser. Users can make it the default handler for URLs, but it doesn't replace the standard browser.

That also means that the advanced features in the HTML rendering engine won't be available to third-party applications that integrate an embedded WebView control. (It's possible that Chrome will be fully integrated in future versions of the Android operating system.)

The availability of Chrome for Android is a big step forward for Web browsing on mobile devices powered by Google's operating system. It should deliver a significantly better user experience on the Web and make Android a better environment for running next-generation mobile Web applications.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android, browsers, Chrome

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
 
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
 
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
 
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
 
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
 
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
 
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
 
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)